Register Register

Author Topic: Balancing naval rules for interest  (Read 13614 times)

UnLimiTeD

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2039
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #30 on: 18 December 2018, 12:41:57 »
So, what is the verdict?
I'm currently a bit too tired to read all of this, I might do so in a week.
I do remember someone ran a test in the past where he pitted a McKenna against a similar ship, but with a 4/6 engine and all weapons replaced by banks of thousands of cLLs and Heatsinks.
The regular McKenna won.
So I assume it's really only about fighters?
Savannah Masters are the Pringles of Battletech.
Ooo! OOOOOOO! That was a bad one!...and I liked it.

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10963
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #31 on: 18 December 2018, 14:32:04 »
My verdict is:

Rules as written do overly favor standard weapons what ever unit type they are mounted on if the only considerations are taking the construction rules to their logical extremes.  C-Bills as a balancing factor do make pure swarms very cost effective.  Battle Value as a balancing factor doesn't really work in space because of how much BV is tied into one large unit and how easy it is to eliminate a huge chunk of a player's force and create a cascading effect.

I'm starting to think the easiest straight up fix is Standard Weapons shouldn't hurt Capital grade at all, no change to Standard:Capital conversion, removing Advanced Point Defense, back date the ASM to as having always been available to keep ASFs and other units capable of carrying external ordinance that otherwise would no longer be a threat as threats, removing Bearings only, and removing Waypoints.  Dropships might need further adjustments to keep them from picking up some of the exploit slack and to keep some of their roles that fluff says they can occupy as valid but I'll have to give more thoughts to what that specifically means.  Likewise sub-Capital weaponry may need some revision if not outright removal as well.

As for that McKenna fight I vaguely remember it too but I also seem to recall having some serious questions about the design and testing methodologies.  Also can't remember how many times the fight was actually played out.  Push the Standard armed McKenna up to 5/8 and it should have no trouble winning more often than not unless you really rig the starting conditions in favor of the as written McKenna under existing rules as written.

marcussmythe

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1171
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #32 on: 18 December 2018, 14:57:30 »
If we keep the ASMs, it might be worthwhile to see how many ASMs a fighter can carry, how much damage those ASMs can be expected to do, and how lany fighters a dedicated carrier can plan to launch.

truetanker

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7986
  • Clan Hells Horses 666th Mech. Assualt Cluster
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #33 on: 18 December 2018, 19:15:04 »
My question is :

Just how many Barracuda could our " Generic " fighters carry... and how many Killer Whales.

Cause I have a solution....

Which depends on how many of each those fighters use.

TT
Khan, Clan Iron Dolphin
Azeroth Pocketverse
That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
TT, we know you are the master of nasty  O0 ~ Fletch on 22 June 2013
If I'm attacking you, conventional wisom says to bring 3x your force.  I want extra insurance, so I'll bring 4 for every 1 of what you have :D ~ Tai Dai Cultist on 21 April 2016
Me: Would you rather fight my Epithymía Thanátou from the Whispers of Blake?
Nav_Alpha: That THING... that is horrid
~ Nav_Alpha on 10 October 2016

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10963
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #34 on: 18 December 2018, 21:03:29 »
The Antiship Missiles I'm talking about are the ones on page 358 of Tactical Operations.  They take up 6 bomb slots each.

As yet there is no way to mount Killer Whales, White Sharks, Barracudas, or Kraken missiles to ASFs or Small Craft as external ordinance.  You probably could get a Barracuda launcher on a Small Craft if it wasn't for the minimum ammunition requirements.

So up to three of these ASMs can be mounted to a 100 ton ASF per sortie.

marcussmythe

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1171
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #35 on: 19 December 2018, 08:09:32 »
The Antiship Missiles I'm talking about are the ones on page 358 of Tactical Operations.  They take up 6 bomb slots each.

As yet there is no way to mount Killer Whales, White Sharks, Barracudas, or Kraken missiles to ASFs or Small Craft as external ordinance.  You probably could get a Barracuda launcher on a Small Craft if it wasn't for the minimum ammunition requirements.

So up to three of these ASMs can be mounted to a 100 ton ASF per sortie.

You can put about 1 fighter bay on a warship per 1000kt of its mass, while retaining some significant cargo and an AAA/PDS array.  If you cut back the fighters a but, you can slap on decent drives, and maybe some capital guns as well. 

How does a 1MT BB deal with, say, 500 fighters lobbing 1000 ASMs?  1000 fighters tossing 2000 ASMs?

Lagrange

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 625
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #36 on: 19 December 2018, 09:51:11 »
You can put about 1 fighter bay on a warship per 1000kt of its mass, while retaining some significant cargo and an AAA/PDS array.  If you cut back the fighters a but, you can slap on decent drives, and maybe some capital guns as well. 

How does a 1MT BB deal with, say, 500 fighters lobbing 1000 ASMs?  1000 fighters tossing 2000 ASMs?
On-board point defense bays are negligible for a full-scale ASM attack so the only viable approaches are carrier-based point defense and multifire AMS. 

The best non-AMS point defense is the small laser, for which either 17 or 9 hits are required (depending on this ruling) to kill an ASM.   ASF can provide up to 20 small lasers so they can kill 1 or 2 ASMs.  A smallcraft can have up to 36 small lasers while maintaining reasonable speed (5/8) allowing them to kill either 2 or 4 ASMs each.   So, depending on ruling, an alpha-strike with 3 ASMs/ASF either can only be defended against by a carrier or not even a carrier can defend against it. 

W.r.t. multifire AMS, the situation is much better.  If the 600Kton warship has 600*3=1800 ASMs incoming, it could use 16.2K heat sinks and 1.35K tons of ammunition to shoot it all down.  That's a significant but acceptable investment. 

Overall, making ASMs available without multifire AMS implies carriers remain completely dominant, and the possibility of massed-use ASMs implies that warship-mounted missiles are negligible.

marcussmythe

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1171
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #37 on: 19 December 2018, 09:59:22 »
On-board point defense bays are negligible for a full-scale ASM attack so the only viable approaches are carrier-based point defense and multifire AMS. 

The best non-AMS point defense is the small laser, for which either 17 or 9 hits are required (depending on this ruling) to kill an ASM.   ASF can provide up to 20 small lasers so they can kill 1 or 2 ASMs.  A smallcraft can have up to 36 small lasers while maintaining reasonable speed (5/8) allowing them to kill either 2 or 4 ASMs each.   So, depending on ruling, an alpha-strike with 3 ASMs/ASF either can only be defended against by a carrier or not even a carrier can defend against it. 

W.r.t. multifire AMS, the situation is much better.  If the 600Kton warship has 600*3=1800 ASMs incoming, it could use 16.2K heat sinks and 1.35K tons of ammunition to shoot it all down.  That's a significant but acceptable investment. 

Overall, making ASMs available without multifire AMS implies carriers remain completely dominant, and the possibility of massed-use ASMs implies that warship-mounted missiles are negligible.

So, without multifire AMS, carrier strikes rule the field.  Once multifire AMS is introduced, any large ship becomes immune to shipborne launchers and effectively immune to same size ship carrier missile strikes.

Qn:  RAW, can ship A fire AMS in defense of ship B, which shares its hex?  If yes, fighter birne missiles are a non-issue, if no, then multiple carriers could in theory focus their deckloads onto one defender, overwhelming any number of heat sinks.

The more I look at it, the more convinced I become we cannot fix these rules with some simple house rules, not if we also want to allow custom ship design.

Lagrange

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 625
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #38 on: 19 December 2018, 10:19:35 »
Qn:  RAW, can ship A fire AMS in defense of ship B, which shares its hex? 
Yes.  Point defense weapons (including AMS) defend an entire hex.  A dedicated multifire AMS warship can defend a fleet against 5 carrier's worth of ASM missiles from any arc with single heat sinks or 8 carrier's worth with double heat sinks. 

Lagrange

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 625
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #39 on: 19 December 2018, 11:34:44 »
I'm starting to think the easiest straight up fix is Standard Weapons shouldn't hurt Capital grade at all, no change to Standard:Capital conversion, removing Advanced Point Defense, back date the ASM to as having always been available to keep ASFs and other units capable of carrying external ordinance that otherwise would no longer be a threat as threats, removing Bearings only, and removing Waypoints.
Removing advanced point defense means there is no means to defend against capital missiles.  This appears devastating in the presence of ASMs, which count as capital missiles as far as point defense, so you end up with carriers and a very strong preference for decisive first strikes.
As for that McKenna fight I vaguely remember it too but I also seem to recall having some serious questions about the design and testing methodologies.  Also can't remember how many times the fight was actually played out.  Push the Standard armed McKenna up to 5/8 and it should have no trouble winning more often than not unless you really rig the starting conditions in favor of the as written McKenna under existing rules as written.
Right.  Standard weapon arrays are most effective on light and/or fast warships because (a) fire control penalties are quadratic and (b) standard weapons have shorter ranges.

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10963
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #40 on: 19 December 2018, 13:38:03 »
But by taking away Advanced Point Defense it also actually helps the Warships to fend off swarms.  They can now use Capital Missiles starting at Extreme Capital Range to start swatting swarms that can't protect themselves(4 Gunnery +6 Extreme Range +2 for evading targets for a TN of 12 does make it at least possible).  Add in that anything carrying External Stores are still slowed down in space and it becomes a much more interesting fight.

Now I admit despite that it still may be necessary to include some sort of Capital Point Defense.  Something less effective than the existing Advanced Point Defense rules though would seem to be wise though.


UnLimiTeD

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2039
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #41 on: 19 December 2018, 19:20:08 »
Standard weapon arrays are most effective on light and/or fast warships because (a) fire control penalties are quadratic and (b) standard weapons have shorter ranges.
Which would mean ships with less weapons, as they need stronger engines.
At least two people have also made convincing cases for subcaps, with range bracket rules, being a competitive investment to standard weapons against small craft, against which they even suffer a penalty.
I am not convinced that standard weapons on Warships are actually in need of balancing.
Well, if fighters are effectively less powerful, then obviously they'd be too strong as their main job is killing those fighters.
Savannah Masters are the Pringles of Battletech.
Ooo! OOOOOOO! That was a bad one!...and I liked it.

Lagrange

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 625
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #42 on: 19 December 2018, 20:48:02 »
But by taking away Advanced Point Defense it also actually helps the Warships to fend off swarms.  They can now use Capital Missiles starting at Extreme Capital Range to start swatting swarms that can't protect themselves(4 Gunnery +6 Extreme Range +2 for evading targets for a TN of 12 does make it at least possible).  Add in that anything carrying External Stores are still slowed down in space and it becomes a much more interesting fight.

Now I admit despite that it still may be necessary to include some sort of Capital Point Defense.  Something less effective than the existing Advanced Point Defense rules though would seem to be wise though.
Capital missiles doing 20/30/40 standard damage just aren't that scary to ASF that are designed for it.  A well designed strike fighter might have 100+ armor points on nose and sides implying that a half-dozen hits are needed to really threaten it.   Also, ASF evade with a +3 modifier making extreme range irrelevant, and ASMs have range 'long'. 

Which would mean ships with less weapons, as they need stronger engines.
On a tonnage basis, yes, but on a damage basis the standard weapons are far stronger even with lesser tonnage.  Try for yourself---design a 600K ton ship capable of doing 1000+capital damage in a single round. 
At least two people have also made convincing cases for subcaps, with range bracket rules, being a competitive investment to standard weapons against small craft, against which they even suffer a penalty.
I'm not sure which house rule you have in mind here.  Clarify?  Without a houserule, subcaps are not particularly threatening to swarms of well-designed ASF. 
I am not convinced that standard weapons on Warships are actually in need of balancing.
What's the conventional response to a 5/8 warship 600K ton warship that does 1000+ capital damage/round? 
Well, if fighters are effectively less powerful, then obviously they'd be too strong as their main job is killing those fighters.
Not following this.

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10963
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #43 on: 19 December 2018, 21:41:39 »
True you can get those armor numbers if you don't particularly armor the Aft location as low as 40 tons and could potentially still get some good thrust profiles.  Bigger begins to potentially have issues with having enough thrust advantage.

I think you are under estimating how threatening Capital Missiles are even when they cannot ensure a kill.  Each hit would be three critical checks even for a Barracuda for less than 201 armor.  Even above 201 armor Barracudas would still get two critical checks with each hit.  At that rate ASFs and Small Craft will start to lose effectiveness unless they have a very substantial thrust advantage that will limit the number of turns they are under fire.  You can't proof all three valid locations against White Sharks or Killer Whales with the armor limits of ASFs against Threshold critical checks.

Add in the consideration that carrying even 1 ASM will slow the unit in question by two thrust that alone raises some interesting variables that gives Warships a bit more of a chance as it is no longer a certainty that ASFs will be able to afford to Evade, let alone close.

Add in fuel tracking and suddenly all sorts of considerations come into play that reduce a swarm's ability to be as certain of winning.

Also SCL-1s and LSCCs make NL-35s and NAC-10s pointless.  Yes firing individually they don't do as much damage but there is no reason you could not group them into bays that will do enough damage to ensure kills.  I've checked the rules for firing/mounting weapons in bays.

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10963
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #44 on: 19 December 2018, 22:15:25 »
And thinking about it further there may already be a solution as I grant some form of actual Capital Point Defense still seems required. 

The rules for attacking Capital Missiles slightly modified.  ASMs and Capital Missiles can be engaged with a +3 to hit offensive attack that also doubles angle of attack modifiers.  Capital Missiles and ASMs outershells for purposes of damage done to them are Standard Scale and thus follow the existing 10:1 conversion taking the damage they deliver to be destroyed.

That way all the existing Warships that we have with mixed Standard and Capital batteries still make sense and those that don't already needed screening forces before anyway to not be overwhelmed so the dynamic hasn't really changed but fighting chances now exist at higher disparities of numbers than previous.

Still needs a bit more work to be fair but I think it'll mostly have to come in the form of a better balancing system than C-Bills and BV.

UnLimiTeD

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2039
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #45 on: 20 December 2018, 04:41:54 »
I'm not sure which house rule you have in mind here.  Clarify?  Without a houserule, subcaps are not particularly threatening to swarms of well-designed ASF. 
Well, as it was explained in one of those topics:
0-6 hexes: Standard Weapons 4+; Sub-Capital Lasers 5+
7-12 hexes: Standard Weapons 6+; Sub-Capital Lasers 5+
13-20 hexes: Standard Weapons 8+; Sub-Capital Lasers 7+
21-24 hexes: Standard Weapons 10+; Sub-Capital Lasers 7+
Sub-Caps are, on average, more accurate, and they offer a concentrated punch - that means crits.
They also offer this crit potential against larger ships, but we probably all agree that their damage potential often outstrips that of actual capital weapons.

Which is where I see a problem: The large weapons seem to be balanced around the existing ships, which are all armoured with tinfoil and paper.
Once we start armouring warships to the point they can't be crit out, capital weapons lose their draw.
The reason the original McKenna won, if I remember right, was that it got two salvoes in before the std-armed ship was in range, and the crits decided the battle.
Raw damage wise, yes, standard weapons are the best option for everything. Sad as that is.
Savannah Masters are the Pringles of Battletech.
Ooo! OOOOOOO! That was a bad one!...and I liked it.

Lagrange

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 625
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #46 on: 20 December 2018, 22:20:07 »
I think you are under estimating how threatening Capital Missiles are even when they cannot ensure a kill.  Each hit would be three critical checks even for a Barracuda for less than 201 armor. 
Where do you get 3?   I see one for the threshold (8+) and one from it being a Barracuda (11+).  What's the third source of a critical hit?
Add in the consideration that carrying even 1 ASM will slow the unit in question by two thrust that alone raises some interesting variables that gives Warships a bit more of a chance as it is no longer a certainty that ASFs will be able to afford to Evade, let alone close.
Ok, let's do this.

A 7/11 65 ton ASF could mount 25 tons of armor for 120/100/100/80 on the facings as well as 5 tons of fuel and a weapons load.   It would be degraded to 5/8 after mounting an ASM which is adequate to evade and close against a 3/5 warship that's fleeing.  The fuel here is adequate for 36 rounds at max thrust.   The criticals which matter are Nose/FCS (5/36) and Nose/Sensors (2/36) and the expected criticals are Threshold(15/36) and Barracuda (3/36), so the chance of a critical that matters is 10%/hit.  It's probably 10 Barracudas to kill a fighter through damage so we can simplify here by assuming that a fighter with 5 hits does half damage.

A 3/5 600K ton warship designed for killing fighters and fleeing under these rules might mount 83 Barracudas in Aft and Aft-sides with 10 shots each.  Let's assume two Barracuda Missileers for a total cost of ~12B.
A similarly optimized same-size carrier might mount 6 regiments of ASF bays (648 ASF) for a fully loaded cost of ~8B.

At extreme range, the to-hit is: 12=4(base)+6(extreme)+3(Evasion)+1(Nose)-2(Barracuda), generating 9.2 hits/round, mission killing ~1 ASF/round. 

At long range, the to-hit is 10, generating 83*2*2*6/36 = 55 hits/round, mission killing 5.5 ASF/round.

At Medium range, the to-hit is 8, generating 83*2*2*15/36 = 138 hits/round, missile killing 13.8 ASF/round.

At Short range the ASF fire their ASMs, with a to-hit of 7=4(base)+3(ECM)+0(Aft). 

Starting at range 51 with zero relative velocity, the fighters will add 1 to their closing velocity each round while evading.   The end of round ranges are then 50, 48, 45, 41, 36, 30, 23, 15, 6 so the missileers get 4 shots at extreme range, 2 at long range, and 2 at medium range which mission kills ~43 ASF.  The remaining ASF hit with ~353 ASMs which do 1059 capital damage, likely gutting both warships for plausible armor distributions.  You also generate ~30 capital missile critical hits (+potential threshold and structure hits) which likely render the warships combat inoperative, even if the warships put almost all their armor in the aft and aft-sides. 

Also SCL-1s and LSCCs make NL-35s and NAC-10s pointless. 
I have no doubt these are good weapons, but I don't see them tipping the balance.

The rules for attacking Capital Missiles slightly modified.  ASMs and Capital Missiles can be engaged with a +3 to hit offensive attack that also doubles angle of attack modifiers.  Capital Missiles and ASMs outershells for purposes of damage done to them are Standard Scale and thus follow the existing 10:1 conversion taking the damage they deliver to be destroyed.
The +5 to hit here means only 27% of shots fired hit.  This means you need about twice as many defensive ASF as incoming ASMs at 50 damage/ASF (plausible for the Age of War/3025 tech I'm working with here).   This also means that no plausible amount of on-board standard scale weapons will dent an ASM wave and that the Barracuda warships inflict less damage against 6 regiments of ASF-with-ASM since it's better to shoot down missiles instead of evading.

Well, as it was explained in one of those topics:Sub-Caps are, on average, more accurate, and they offer a concentrated punch - that means crits.
They also offer this crit potential against larger ships, but we probably all agree that their damage potential often outstrips that of actual capital weapons.
Let's consider an SCL1 armed ship.  Bays of 13 will mission kill the notional fighter here.  You can mount 10 bays of 13 in the Aft and Aft-side arcs, so using 2 SCL1 warships you can bring 40 bays to bear on pursuing ASF in a round.

At long range, the to-hit is: 4(base)+1(Nose)+4(Long)+1(subcap AAA)+3(Evasion)=13, so no hits.
At medium range the to-hit is: 11, mission killing 3.33ASF.

So, using the same attack profile, the ASM armed ASF lose ~7 before they release missiles.   Switching to SCL3s and placing them in bays of 5, you can take out ~13ASF before they release missiles.

Overall, I think we are left with the conclusion that carriers significantly dominate both on offense and defense under monbvols proposal, even against a pretty good anti-fighter designed warship.

Edit: added monbvols proposal as Attempt 5 to the OP.
« Last Edit: 20 December 2018, 22:32:04 by Lagrange »

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10963
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #47 on: 21 December 2018, 00:10:24 »
At one point I know I read a rule that Standard Scale units suffer a Critical chance whenever struck by a Capital weapon thus creating potentially 3 critical chances but I'll admit I'm having trouble finding it now.  I'll retract until I can cite.

Distributing the Barracudas would probably be better as Warship ECM extends out two hexes so the two defending Warships don't have to be in the same hex and thus can potentially cover each other with a lot more missiles while still maintaining ECM protection.

Could considerably drive up the number of loses for the ASFs.

Of course if C-Bills were not the only balancing factor that'd help too.  Which I'll say again is needed.  Battle Value might offer some hope again under my revisions but I won't be surprised if it is still wanting.

And yes there is still some adjustments that need be made to make the targeting Capital Missiles a reasonable replacement for dropping Advanced Point Defense.  I'll maintain that it is important to make it an offensive attack for purposes of if a player can do it while evading or not.  Perhaps to retain AMS in it's primary role and help it make sense on Warships since some have it drop the +3 and double angle of attack modifiers for them.  Maybe dropping the double angle of attack modifiers completely for all weapons would be good too.  I'll have to run some numbers and maybe even some practical experiments to see how that works.

Lagrange

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 625
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #48 on: 21 December 2018, 08:27:26 »
Distributing the Barracudas would probably be better as Warship ECM extends out two hexes so the two defending Warships don't have to be in the same hex and thus can potentially cover each other with a lot more missiles while still maintaining ECM protection.
It looks like you can increase the number of missiles on target by only using the aft arc.  That allows you to fit in 219 Barracuda launchers for 32% more. 

By staggering the BC warships, you can give one a +4 to hit penalty(the maximum) from ECM while the other has +3.   This is modestly helpful, although it's important to note that ECM is not a panacea because the ASF can be steered to attack at range 0, which I didn't do in the analysis.
Could considerably drive up the number of loses for the ASFs.
Optimizing both ASFs and warships, I see only a modest (32%) increase in the number of ASF casualties and a modest (42%) increase in fired ASMs on target if the ASF optimize for a 0 intercept at firing time.  Keep in mind as well that the BC warships cost ~50% more than the loaded carrier.  Overall, the outcome looks unchanged.
Of course if C-Bills were not the only balancing factor that'd help too.  Which I'll say again is needed.  Battle Value might offer some hope again under my revisions but I won't be surprised if it is still wanting.
Battlevalue makes sense when trying to aim for fair play, but that's not the logical goal when designing things.
And yes there is still some adjustments that need be made to make the targeting Capital Missiles a reasonable replacement for dropping Advanced Point Defense.  I'll maintain that it is important to make it an offensive attack for purposes of if a player can do it while evading or not.  Perhaps to retain AMS in it's primary role and help it make sense on Warships since some have it drop the +3 and double angle of attack modifiers for them.  Maybe dropping the double angle of attack modifiers completely for all weapons would be good too.  I'll have to run some numbers and maybe even some practical experiments to see how that works.
Making it easier for an offensive fighter swarm carring ASMs to shoot down the Barracudas just makes them more overwhelming.

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10963
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #49 on: 21 December 2018, 11:04:55 »
There simply put needs to be a balancing factor or else swarms will always be the better option.  C-Bills obviously utterly fail but that is not new information.

idea weenie

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2825
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #50 on: 21 December 2018, 20:53:18 »
There simply put needs to be a balancing factor or else swarms will always be the better option.  C-Bills obviously utterly fail but that is not new information.

The only options I can think of are:
  • A form of resistive armor, so you need heavier weapons to punch through
  • Some sort of area effect/bonus, where the more units in a hex the attacker gets a benefit/reroll(s) (mainly with missile weapons, as they can retarget)
  • Dedicated electronics systems, that provide bonus to-hits to the mounting unit, and heavier jammers that make enemy units have bigger penalties to hit the mounting unit (similar to Beagle and Guardian, but providing target bonuses/penalties)
  • Drop the engine acceleration limit on structural mass
  • Drop the structural mass limits on armor
  • Mass increases allowing enhancements for weapons, to reflect better tracking systems (i.e. stronger servos moving laser mirrors faster to allow NL to hit fighters a bit easier)

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10963
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #51 on: 21 December 2018, 23:20:03 »
It really comes down to as things are now Battle Value doesn't work in space.

Under my proposal I think it has hope without causing a lot of other weirdness/new issues or hand waving.

Now I do recognize my proposal is likely still in need of further refinement but it does not necessitate yet another redesign of the construction rules and largely salvages what is already written.

I also consider it a possible outcome that the construction rules will need changed to truly address all the issues but I've gotten to a point where if I can do less radical revisions first I will.

Lagrange

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 625
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #52 on: 22 December 2018, 23:29:39 »
Maybe another approach to solving this problem is to first specify the constraints we want to obey, and then try to find a solution.

Here's a set of constraints I'm aware of.
  • The Miraborg incident.  A Shilone ramming a Sovestkii Soyuz (=63 standard damage with one round at max thrust or 126 standard damage with 2 rounds of max thrust) must be able to cause damage and a crew critical hit. 
  • Pocket Warship dropships must be able to consistently threaten and damage warships via capital missiles or subcapital weapons.
  • Naval weapons should be the preferred anti-warship weapon by warships so that existing designs make sense.
  • Carriers should not be the dominant form of warship design so existing designs make sense.
  • We would like any rule modification to be easily applied to existing designs.
  • We would like any rule modification to be simple.
Are there other constraints we should consider?

Attempt 2 failed constraint 2, leading to attempt 3.  Attempt 3 seems to fail constraint 4 via smallcraft carriers.  Attempt 4 failed constraint 3. Attempt 5 seems to fail constraint 4. 

A form of resistive armor, so you need heavier weapons to punch through
Attempt 4 had a form of this.  It ended up not working well because a warship could still create monster bays of standard weapons so the damage reduction was relatively unimportant, failing constraint 3.
Some sort of area effect/bonus, where the more units in a hex the attacker gets a benefit/reroll(s) (mainly with missile weapons, as they can retarget)
I don't expect this to have much effect because ASF can carry enough point defense to shoot down missile waves.  It fails constraint 4.
Dedicated electronics systems, that provide bonus to-hits to the mounting unit, and heavier jammers that make enemy units have bigger penalties to hit the mounting unit (similar to Beagle and Guardian, but providing target bonuses/penalties)
It's hard to rule these things out, but inventing new custom design elements is more complex than I was hoping for, failing constraints 5&6.
Drop the engine acceleration limit on structural mass
So 1/2 or 2/3 warship designs become heavy hitters.  But, since it also allows a carrier to bring more ASF, it doesn't really alter the equation failing constraint 4.
Drop the structural mass limits on armor
This is a very significant change.  Warships carrying 100K tons of armor become possible.  All existing warship designs become totally obsolete.  Probably to invasive and it still leaves standard weapons as the preferred armor stripping device failing constraints 3,5,6.
Mass increases allowing enhancements for weapons, to reflect better tracking systems (i.e. stronger servos moving laser mirrors faster to allow NL to hit fighters a bit easier)
Maybe, but it's a design change with lots of custom rules.

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10963
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #53 on: 23 December 2018, 02:15:31 »
Not an unreasonable list of criteria.

Heck I even re-read a thread where I defended the Castrum as a reasonable alternative to Monitors and made a fairly compelling analysis for how they can threaten Warships many times their size.  So I'm forced to grant we need the subcapital weapons.

Trouble is as they currently exist SCL-1s and LSCCs make NL-35s and NAC-10s pointless on Warships once they are introduced and I can't think of a logical reason to deny these weapons to Warships if they can be mounted on Dropships.

I'll have to give a lot of thought on how to address this under my proposal.

Lagrange

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 625
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #54 on: 23 December 2018, 09:04:46 »
Trouble is as they currently exist SCL-1s and LSCCs make NL-35s and NAC-10s pointless on Warships once they are introduced
  • "Weapon goes obsolete with new technologies" seems minor compared to the misbalance we are concerned about here.  I'm ok with suboptimal weapons and obsolescence ingame as it means the designers job is nontrivial.
  • 3.5 SCL1s + double heat sinks + quarters + half an escape pod is 589 tons while for an NL35 it's 733 tons.  The gap in damage/ton is minor and fire control tonnage could reverse the gap at 60+ weapons in an arc.
  • NAC-10s are nigh pointless compared to NAC-20s anyways.
  • If you use individual range rules, SCL-1s are outranged by NL35s and NAC-10s far outrange LSCCs.

HobbesHurlbut

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2906
  • Live Free or Die Hard
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #55 on: 23 December 2018, 09:26:12 »
As yet there is no way to mount Killer Whales, White Sharks, Barracudas, or Kraken missiles to ASFs or Small Craft as external ordinance.  You probably could get a Barracuda launcher on a Small Craft if it wasn't for the minimum ammunition requirements.
Not even sub-capital missiles?
Clan Blood Spirit - So Bad Ass as to require Orbital Bombardments to wipe us out....it is the only way to be sure!

Lagrange

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 625
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #56 on: 23 December 2018, 11:34:51 »
How about this?

Attempt 6: Capital damage by standard weapons is equal to the damage on a facing by an attacker / 100, rounded down.  The maximum number of weapons in a weapons bay is 6 for Smallcraft, 12 for Dropships, and 40 for Warships, Jumpships, and Space Stations.  Critical hits on capital units can only be caused by individual attacks dealing at least 1 capital damage.

After a review, I believe the weapons bay limits invalidate no existing designs.  The Lyonesse was the extreme for smallcraft, the Titan for dropships, and the Pinto for warships. 

ASF will have difficulty inflicting 100 damage on a facing, but they could certainly manage sometimes by flushing external ordnance in combination with on-board weapons, in a high speed engagement, or in a ramming attack.  Using more advanced technology, Antiship missiles can consistently cause damage although that arrives after multifire AMS.    Advanced clan technology like mass use of heavy medium lasers allows a 5/8 ASF to be capable of hitting the 100 damage threshold on a facing with internal weapons although by that point LFC armor, screen launchers, and subcapital weapons are available.

Appropriately designed smallcraft can certainly generate 100 damage even with AoW/3025 tech, but the odds of it all landing on the same facing are commonly low given the bay size limits.  The high tech situation is similar to ASFs.

Assault dropships can consistently do capital damage with standard weapons, but the high cost associated with such dropships makes them a relatively niche item.  Subcapital weapons and capital missiles are an attractive alternative due to a combination of lower cost and greater range.

Warships might mount standard scale weapons, but primarily in secondary roles since fire control tonnage make them inefficient compared to naval weapons at even the 600Kton scale and naval weapons generally have a better chance of inflicting critical hits.   For example, 40 AC-20s generates 8 capital damage at short range with a little over 1000 tons, but this is less efficient and lower range than a NAC/40 while being not nearly as critical threatening.

Not even sub-capital missiles?
The lightest is a piranha which weighs 100 tons for the launcher and 10 tons/missile.

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10963
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #57 on: 23 December 2018, 12:42:36 »
I'll admit I didn't include crew requirements in my analysis and I don't think anyone else did in theirs.  It is an oversight.

Hmmm...

I'd still be inclined to reduce the effectiveness of Advanced Point Defense somehow.  Removing it and using a modified Attacking Capital Missiles rule may still be the best alternative.  It gives all units ways to defend themselves against ASMs and Capital Missiles but by making it offensive for purposes of if you can evade at the same time or not and also counting it as that bay/individual weapon attacking that forces some interesting dynamics.

UnLimiTeD

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2039
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #58 on: 23 December 2018, 13:22:24 »
Let's consider an SCL1 armed ship.  Bays of 13 will mission kill the notional fighter here.  You can mount 10 bays of 13 in the Aft and Aft-side arcs, so using 2 SCL1 warships you can bring 40 bays to bear on pursuing ASF in a round.

At long range, the to-hit is: 4(base)+1(Nose)+4(Long)+1(subcap AAA)+3(Evasion)=13, so no hits.
At medium range the to-hit is: 11, mission killing 3.33ASF.

So, using the same attack profile, the ASM armed ASF lose ~7 before they release missiles.   Switching to SCL3s and placing them in bays of 5, you can take out ~13ASF before they release missiles.
May I ask how you get to those numbers? Not doubting them, but I'd like to understand them.
Under Squadron Rules, a Fighter has to roll for destruction when receiving 1/4 of it's total armour as damage in a single hit - that's 108 for a Hydaspes, which off the top of my head is one of the toughest birds around. That'd be just 11. And that's a bird so slow that, with mounted missiles, it can't be a "pursuing" ASF anymore if it actually evades. I assume every Flak-Warship would go at least 4/6.
If we're not using squadron rules, which I think we should on that scale, I'd just pack them in 2-SCL bays and rely on criticals, as a mission kill for me is achieved if I either damaged their engine to the point they can't follow, or sensors sufficiently that they miss, but I'd be ok with preventing a second sortie. Ammo explosions are ok, too.
Also, at long range, instead of Anti-Fighter mode, why not just bracket-fire? That's less damage, yes, and a 12 to hit isn't great, but it's decidedly better than nothing.
Most fighters that can evade and close at the same time while carrying a missile or a heavy armament probably need less than a dozen sub-capital lasers to kill, anyways. Though that whole argument really only said that subcaps are a valid choice compared to standard weapons, not that fighters aren't too strong in relation to capital ships. I don't think anyone seriously disputes that.

All that said, I'm not sure if they've been mentioned so far, but: what about minefields?
Savannah Masters are the Pringles of Battletech.
Ooo! OOOOOOO! That was a bad one!...and I liked it.

Lagrange

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 625
Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
« Reply #59 on: 23 December 2018, 17:08:28 »
I'll admit I didn't include crew requirements in my analysis and I don't think anyone else did in theirs.  It is an oversight.
I used crew requirements for my design test points.
I'd still be inclined to reduce the effectiveness of Advanced Point Defense somehow.  Removing it and using a modified Attacking Capital Missiles rule may still be the best alternative.  It gives all units ways to defend themselves against ASMs and Capital Missiles but by making it offensive for purposes of if you can evade at the same time or not and also counting it as that bay/individual weapon attacking that forces some interesting dynamics.
I'm not understanding the advanced point defense issue.  More detail?

There are only two practical ways to mount serious point defense: via a carrier with appropriately designed fighters and via multifire AMS.   Removing advanced point defense leaves only the carrier approach and reduces expected damage by a factor of 10/36=17% (= hit chance for 9+).  Expanding the set of units capable of this has no meaningful impact since fighters are a much better delivery platform---a carrier can deliver significantly more standard weapons than other approaches. 

Perhaps it's worth keeping in mind the most extreme case.  A carrier could mount 648 ASF, and a 90-ton ASF could carry 3 ASMs to use with a speed of 3/5.  This is obviously slow, but entirely reasonable in a defensive posture.  An attacking warship would therefore need to shoot down 1944 ASMs to avoid damage, and anything less than almost all of that would result in destruction of the warship.    Using multifire AMS, this requires 26244 double heat sinks and 4374 tons of ammo.  Using a carrier's ASFs to defend with advanced point defense instead, you can shoot down 74% of the missiles, leaving 504 missiles hitting and killing a warship if used effectively.  Hence, only multifire AMS can effectively defend against a maximal ASM strike as-is. 

Anyways, aside from the Advanced Point Defense issue (which I don't yet understand), do you see any serious flaws in attempt 6?

May I ask how you get to those numbers? Not doubting them, but I'd like to understand them.
I was thinking about something like this:
Code: [Select]
60 ton offensive ASM carrier
Tech Level: Standard (IS)
Tech Rating: D/C-E-D-D 
Weight: 60 tons
BV: 1,462
Cost: 3,115,580 C-bills 
Movement: 7/11
Engine: 300
Heat Sinks: 10
Fuel Points: 400 (5.0 tons) 
Structural Integrity: 7

Armor
Nose 120
Left Wing 100
Right Wing 100
Aft 80
 
Weapons Loc Heat
5x Small Laser NOS 5
5x Small Laser LWG 5
5x Small Laser RWG 5
Small Laser AFT 1
Under Squadron Rules, a Fighter has to roll for destruction when receiving 1/4 of it's total armour as damage in a single hit - that's 108 for a Hydaspes, which off the top of my head is one of the toughest birds around. That'd be just 11. And that's a bird so slow that, with mounted missiles, it can't be a "pursuing" ASF anymore if it actually evades. 
The offensive ASF travels at 5/8 while carrying an ASM.   I wasn't considering squadron rules---just the basics and I was assuming you would rather do 13 damage and generate a guaranteed mission kill rather than 11 damage with a decent (40%) chance of a mission kill.
I assume every Flak-Warship would go at least 4/6.
I was using a 3/5 Flak warship.  If you want to shift the Flak-warship to 4/6, then obviously armor & weapons decrease.   
If we're not using squadron rules, which I think we should on that scale, I'd just pack them in 2-SCL bays and rely on criticals,
The odds of a mission kill critical aren't that great---maybe 9%/hit so the expected number of SCLs hitting for a mission kill becomes more than 13.
as a mission kill for me is achieved if I either damaged their engine to the point they can't follow, or sensors sufficiently that they miss, but I'd be ok with preventing a second sortie. Ammo explosions are ok, too.
Engine hits don't happen on the nose aspect, and there is no ammo to explode, so it's sensors or fire control that generate a mission kill.
Also, at long range, instead of Anti-Fighter mode, why not just bracket-fire? That's less damage, yes, and a 12 to hit isn't great, but it's decidedly better than nothing.
Good point.  This is unlikely to kill an ASF since you only have 40 bays doing 40% damage, but in 2 rounds of long range fire you might take out an additional ASF.
Most fighters that can evade and close at the same time while carrying a missile or a heavy armament probably need less than a dozen sub-capital lasers to kill, anyways. Though that whole argument really only said that subcaps are a valid choice compared to standard weapons, not that fighters aren't too strong in relation to capital ships. I don't think anyone seriously disputes that.
I agree that most fighters that can evade and close with an ASM require less SCLs to kill.  But, we're trying to cover the range of allowed design.

Subcaps seem outstanding if they allow you to outrange fighters on a more mobile platform than fighters.  Usually, that's a dropship. 
All that said, I'm not sure if they've been mentioned so far, but: what about minefields?
My understanding of the minefield rules is that they don't really affect a fighter swarm which will clear them without really noticing.

 

Register